Following the piracy of "Batman" #17 in advance of its release date earlier this week, DC Comics has another leak on its hands. A photo of variant covers for "Batman, Incorporated" #8 has surfaced, nearly two weeks prior to the comic's February 27 release date. The photo shows three variant covers homaging Grant Morrison's "Batman: R.I.P.," with Damian Wayne's Robin standing in for his father, the Dark Knight. Additionally, the letters "R.I.P." appear at the bottom, using Robin's "R" icon, revealing a major spoiler for Morrison's upcoming "Batman, Incorporated" arc, which has been kept under tight wraps by DC. Damian's death as the focus of Morrison's newest arc has been a popular theory on Internet message boards, as Damian is nowhere to be found on the covers for May's Batman-related issues, even on the cover of "Batman and Robin" #19.
The photo comes from the Twitter account of retailer Al Mega, who posted an auction on eBay for "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 weeks before its scheduled release date. Mega's Twitter feed indicates he has access to advance copies of DC's books -- on February 8, he posted a photo of a number of issues not set to release until February 20 including "Justice League of America" #1, "Justice League" #17, "Green Lantern: New Guardians" #17 and more.
When approached by CBR News about the leak, DC representatives replied, "No comment."
"Batman Incorporated" #8 is far enough from its release date that retailers shouldn't have received copies from Diamond yet. Retailers who opt-in to Diamond's early delivery typically receive issues on the Tuesday before release, which makes how Mega obtained the issues somewhat of a mystery. Timing-wise, the leak syncs with the "Amazing Spider-Man" #700 leak last year, when scans of the issue popped up online 12 days early, exactly the same amount of time before the issue was scheduled for release.
"It's always disappointing when someone decides to spoil a big story by posting it on the torrents," Alonso told CBR. "Piracy affects fans, creators and retailers who look forward to a big comic book to put some cash in their registers -- which 'Amazing Spider-Man #700' definitely will do. The fact that physical copies of the issue exist, but are accessible to a select few, is, of course, alarming."